MANILA - The sultanate of Sulu claimed yesterday that the Malaysian government has set up a “$100-million Sabah Protection Fund (SPF)” to obscure their proprietary rights over Sabah.
Abraham Idjirani, spokesman for the sultanate, told The STAR that the implementation of the SPF is allegedly being carried out by the Malaysian prime minister’s office in coordination with the Philippine government.
He said a reliable source in Malaysia told him that to justify the SPF, it was included in the budget of the prime minister in the form of economic aid to Muslim communities in the Philippines.
In reality, however, it was intended to muddle the sultanate’s legal rights over Sabah.
“The SPF is being used to fund black propaganda and sow confusion among the legitimate heirs of the sultanate, in particular, and the Filipino people, in general,” he said.
Idjirani has appealed to the Malaysian parliament to look into the implementation of the SPF and determine if it was really intended to finance livelihood programs for Filipino Muslims in Mindanao.
Idjirani reminded Malaysia and the Philippine government that any effort to demolish the “historic and moral rights” of the sultanate over Sabah will not prosper as the case is now pending before the International Court of Justice.
He said the petition to reclaim Sabah was filed on Sept. 24, 2004 and a month later, the United Nations acknowledged the appeal.
The UN, however, required the sultanate to get an endorsement from a sovereign state to pursue its claim.
The sultanate has also reminded the United States and other countries about their moral obligation to honor treaties forged by their governments with the sultanate in the past.